When There Are No Words Left Over

So late last week I just plain ran out of words. It’s been a long time since that happened. I’m much more familiar with the reverse situation, when going too long without writing causes trouble. Writing so much my brain rejects going any further is rare and unpleasant.

Maybe it’s charging straight from NaNoWriMo into a month where I’ve been trying to average 2,000 words a day. Maybe it’s the constant mental rotation of short story writing that’s more taxing than the sustained attention to a novel. Maybe it’s not having enough material outlined ahead of time. Maybe it’s simple willpower collapse. Maybe it’s all of the attendant stresses of the holidays and day job work. In truth, it’s likely some combination of the above. (That’s the challenge of trying to systematically analyze my successes and failures this early in the process; too many confounding variables.)

In any case, I went a few days without writing more than some texts and business emails. My plan is to get back on the horse today so I can get the weekly Wendig flash fiction contest entry up tomorrow. Then I’ll take the time to outline a few more stories before diving back into the 2k a day quest.

It’s been hard to avoid feeling a sense of failure when experiencing this. A mini-burnout after only a couple weeks of post-NaNo writing is a less than auspicious start. I’m trying to think of it as a combination of growing pains and learning how to make this process sustainable. I’ll be tweaking my expectations and process for January (another short story month), and February will be the more familiar novel process (albeit with two fewer days to get the job done).

All right, back on the horse!